Chocolate Rain | The Bruery

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Chocolate RainChocolate Rain
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Tuesday with Vanilla Bean & Cocoa Nibs.

2011: 18.5% ABV
2012: 19.5% ABV
2013: 18.0% ABV
2014: 18.5% ABV

Added by mikedashg on 10-28-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
326
Ratings:
2,545
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
10.16%
 
 
Wants:
2,606
Gots:
963
For Trade:
121
User Reviews
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Reviews: 326 | Ratings: 2,545
Photo of drabmuh
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I still can't believe that this was just there, at the Bruery, waiting for me to try it. This beer was as good, perhaps slightly better on every other Thursday than Black Tuesday. Think Black Tuesday plus chocolate.

Beer is served on cask into a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown / black with a diffuse head of small and big bubbles that doesn't leave lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low. Looks OK.

Beer smells like bourbon and chocolate, it smells amazing. Its sweet, molasses, chocolate, liquor, some alcohol, its so amazingly complex, I could have smelled it all night.

Beer has this creamy mouthfeel from the cask, its sweet and has some minimal bitterness on the back from the chocolate. The forward flavors are like a hershey bar dipped in bourbon, its great, its not cloying or overpowering its just really solid. The finish is nice and not too dry, a little dryer than the regular Black Tuesday but overall its a great beer. I would definitely have it again, only if they would bottle this.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter - 2012 Vintage

A: Pours a dark brown (not as black as I expected) with a tiny off-brown head that fades to a ring and leaves no lacing.

S: The nose is so similar to BT I probably couldn't tell the difference if they were side by side. There are nice notes of vanilla, chocolate, molasses, and bourbon. I'm not getting much cocoa or vanilla which is surprising.

T: The taste is simply amazing! Unlike the nose this is leaps and bounds above BT. There were massive flavors of chocolate, vanilla cream, fudge brownies, molasses, and bourbon.

M: The feel is medium bodied and thick like syrup on the finish. The beer does get kind of cloying the longer you drink it.

O: I was not as impressed with BT when I had it as I thought I would but this definitely lived up to the hype. I could drink this all the time in small quantities. It does get cloyingly sweet as you get to the end of your glass but it's so tasty.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th review.

Appearance: Black with minimal tan head. Fades almost instantly. No lacing.

Smell: chocolate, vanilla, a bit boozy, but no where near the 18.3% abv.

Taste: chocolate, vanilla, chocolate milk, not boozy at all, a hint of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, no carbonation, smooth, creamy, slightly boozy.

Overall: delicious. Very drinkable. Alcoholic chocolate milk.

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Photo of Damian
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz/750ml wax dipped bottle acquired in a trade with surge1311
020912Lot30
Served in a tulip

Review #800

Opened in celebration of my friends Matt and Kelly's firstborn child's birth and drank while listening to Tay Zonday's hit single "Chocolate Rain."

The beer poured a surprisingly thin, mahogany brown. No real head and no lacing. Frothy tan colored bubbles dotted the liquid and quickly morphed into a thin ring of froth. With each swirl of the liquid, substantial legs trickled down the glass.

Bourbon came through super strong in the nose. This was perhaps the most bourbon forward beer I have ever sampled. Lots of toffee and brown sugar sweetness. Strong notes of vanilla bean and maple syrup. Hints of coconut. Dark fruits were also noticeable. Plums and raisins were most apparent.

The flavor profile almost followed the nose to a T. Tons of sweetness up front, with a big caramel malt/toffee presence. Very boozy from the start, but the booze was definitely welcomed. At 19.5% ABV, this drank surprisingly well. Super strong bourbon notes. Loads of vanilla bean. Lots of dark chocolate and dark fruits sweetness. Figs, plums and raisins came through strongest. Touch of burnt sugar and oak. Some roasted malt flavors were present, but the roast was surprisingly subtle.

The mouthfeel was rich and syrupy with an appropriately low carbonation. This beer could have been a bit thicker and chewier for something of this magnitude.

All in all, this was an amazingly interesting and complex beer. Although I wanted to compare it to Black Tuesday (which is my favorite beer of all time), this was a completely different beast. With its lighter appearance and mouthfeel and its sweeter, boozier and more fruit-forward aroma and flavor profile, I found more similarities between this and Melange No. 3 than with Black Tuesday.

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Photo of mcallister
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brownish red. Thin looking and unimpressive for a stout of this stature.

Big fusle alcohol aromas almost burns my nose hairs. Thick chocolate, vanilla and toasty oak with a nice layer of bourbon. Some dark fruit lies underneath.

Just a killer tasting beer. Layers of sweet melted chocolate, fudge, vanilla bean, bourbon, dried fruits, burnt caramel, toasted oak, very light coffee. Date, black fig, quince and black licorice. Some cherry and currant as well.

Mouth isn't big and thick but oily and slick with alcohol. But fits the beer well and doesn't interfere.

Mmmmm!

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2012 vintage the other night. A friend had opened it the night before and couldn't finish it, so he re-capped it.

Looks still and black as oil.

Smell is out of this world. Sweet chocolate, potent bourbon and a tannic barrel presence. Truly amazing.

Flavor was great, as well. I think being open all night helped burn off some of the alcohol and open it up into something truly decadent.

Mouthfeel was nice. There was just enough carbonation left to scrub the palate and keep the sweetness from being cloying.

Overall, I liked this beer a lot. Mocha Wednesday still edged it slightly, but it just goes to show how proper aging can vault a beer up in quality.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Type: 750-ml bottle (25.4 oz.)
Glass: Sea Smoke oversized wine glass
From: Chris (heresy22 on Beer Advocate)
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A, but received it on May 20, 2014
Consumed: May 31, 2014
Misc.: 2014 edition (18.5% ABV); wax bottleneck

Poured a black color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy tan head, which quickly gave way to a serene setting on the top. Below average-to-minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Average retention.

Smelled a potent mix of boozy bourbon and chocolate right away. Also got cocoa, fudge, toffee, caramel, Hershey syrup and Rolos candy. Definitely no hiding the 18.5 percent alcohol as it keeps coming in strong.

Initial taste was flat out fantastic. Got cocoa, chocolate, chocolate syrup, cocoa nibs, fudge, toffee, caramel and the Rolos candy. That gave way to a long, warming finish. After the first sip, I could feel it warming down my throat for almost a minute. Not as boozy as the smell for sure. Just so good.

Medium-to-full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish.

This beer was so good. I would love to have this again.

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Photo of Hugonaut13
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle gently poured to the rim of a CBS snifter. Proper pour is proper.

A - Pours a deep rich black with very little head that recedes quickly. This beer leaves serious lacing. It warns that doming it may not be the greatest idea, but it's a challenge to accept.

S - Sweet vanilla mixed with bourbon. Strong burnt sugar alcohol smell. Like a decadent dessert. Smells like I may not be able to walk when this is over.

T - This my friends, is a freaking Beer. Up front you walk right into bourbon soaked coconut which fades out into some bittering chocolate and leaves with sweet vanilla and molasses. This is a beer to be sipped and savored. Delicious. There's something wrong with you if you didn't lick your lips after a sip.

M - Big syrupy beer with definite warming alcohol presence. I'm glad I have another saved for winter. Low carbonation, which is preferred in this style.

O - This is a wonderful beer. It may be too sweet for some, but I freakin' love it. It's just a notch behind Black Tuesday overall, but a wonderful change of pace.

Now to prepare for my hangover tomorrow...

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Photo of Rinkor16
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle opened on 04/26/13 with my older brother and a buddy.

A: Pitch black with little head that dissipated immediately .

S: Tons of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts and vanilla.

T: Holy sh*t! Roasted malts with lots of chocolate. Nice bourbon finish with a little bit of vanilla hanging around on your pallet.

M: Very thick and velvety.

O: This was well worth the Bruery membership. I'm very glad that I bought a full allotment. Damn, it's good.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taster at The Bruery Annaversary party. Poured into a 5pz taster glass. Reviewed from notes.

Thin tan head dissipated fast. Left a ring of head. Super dark brown in color.

Aroma is amazing. Sweet malty caramel, dark fruits, figs, raisins, tons of chocolate and a bit of roastyness.

Tastes just as it smells. It's a little boost but expected at 18%. Bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits and caramel. Warming down the throat.

Mouthfeel is not as malty as the above taste discripters would suggest. Smooth but a little high on the carb.

Overall a fantastic beer glad I had it and with their up in production of these beers hopefully I can get some of this next year.

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Photo of nickd717
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask.

Pours...well...not totally black even. Dark brown and slightly translucent when it's in small amounts.

The aroma is really heavenly. There's a lot of Black Tuesday in there, which is my favorite smell. Bourbon is big, and chocolate rains down - or up - at your nose like Tay Zonday's legendary lyrics attacking your eardrums. A little anise and molasses rounds it out.

The flavor is excellent. A bit of a boozy, bourbony sledgehammer crammed up your cramhole, but there's a lot of awesomeness going on. First of all, delicious Black Tuesday is big. I feel like there's maybe even more bourbon here. Plus -bal and rich milk and dark chocolate, molasses, roast, and sweet caramel.

Thick and intense on the palate, with low carbonation and a fair amount of booziness.

Overall, this is awesome, and I'm not just saying that because I enjoy sucking down rare DONGs so much. Drinkable for the amount you should be drinking.

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Photo of The-yetti
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

from a 2013 bottle.

Appearance: Black as sin, no light whatsoever comes through. There is a thin tan head that I cant believe is there.

Nose: Big notes of chocolate, and bitter dark chocolate. Smells amazing. Light astrigency from the alchohol but that is to be expected with this abv.

Taste: This thing is just dripping with a sweet milk chocolate flavor, if I could make hot cocoa from this I would. This is a big beer but you cant taste any alchohol at all. There is a slight warming in the chest, but it never comes through in the taste.

Mouthfeel: This has one of the thickest mouthfeels I have ever had, there is a slight sweet film left on my teeth.

overall this didnt dissapoint as so many of the whales have been for me. glad I was able to get this.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Bottled 02/09/12. ABV 19.5%. Served in a snifter.

Pours dark root beer brown, slightly translucent. No head, just a tiny ring of bubbles. No lacing.

Aroma of dry chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, wood, dark fruits and a significant amount of alcohol. Chocolate is the strongest note.

Flavor starts with rich sweet chocolate. Some roast, but sweetness takes the forefront. Vanilla and dark fruit flavors are there, but sit behind the chocolate. Bourbon barrel notes emerge through the finish. Not tasting much of the copious alcohol, but heat comes on quickly. Chocolate lingers on in the aftertaste. Stunning and powerful flavor.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with low carbonation. Fairly silky and smooth.

A fantastic beer, especially for chocolate lovers.

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Photo of Dope
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 020912, Lot 30.

A: Pours jet black with only a tiny light brown head that fades almost immediately. Just little specks of lacing.

S: Huge boozy bourbon aroma. Loads of toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, raisins and vanilla. Very similar to BT but with more vanilla and chocolate (but not much).

T: Up front, big toffee, caramel, brown sugar and molasses hit with a punch of alcohol burn to boot. Turns into a bunch of vanilla and bitter cocoa. Smooths out a bit into the finish with a sweeter milk chocolate. Stinging booze. Very sweet, especially in the chocolate and vanilla that stick around for a long time in the aftertaste.

M: Big, thick, heavy, syrupy mouth-coating stout.

O: Well, I had a BT last week and I wanted to compare to CR within a reasonable time frame. They are 90% alike. The biggest difference I noted was the lesser molasses and fruit element in this compared to BT, and the much larger chocolate and vanilla factor in this as well. This tastes more like a stout whereas BT tastes like a barleywine/stout blend aged in bourbon barrels. Regardless of the differences, this is one big, complex and sweet beast of a beer. It's extremely rare to get a beer that is almost 20% that comes out this well. This might be the only one, in fact. Hence the 5.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tasting glass. 2011 version.

Apppearance: Pitch black with walnut edges and the very top of the glass. Extremely viscous. A tiny tan head forms and dies almost immediately, leaving no lacing.

Smell: Simply phenomenal. Smooth, deep, and nicely complex. Dark chocolate, lots and lots of vanilla beans, a little bit of coffee, oak, and a little smoke.

Taste: Lots of chocolate to start out, not surprising. Dark chocolate, lots of vanilla, and quite a bit of booze. The alcohol is noticeable but manageable. A bit of woody oak and some smoke and tobacco come through, and the finish is sweet and boozy.

Mouthfeel: This is very full bodied and extremely thick, but I was actually picturing it thicker in my mind. A tingling sensation is felt on the tongue as a result of the very intense ABV. The carbonation adds a creamy element but is mostly submissive to the huge body.

Drinkability: This is just a phenomenal beer. The booziness creates a tingling sensation on the tongue and warms the throat and stomach, but is hidden from the taste. Chocolate Rain has a great aroma and great taste; it is up there as an ultimate sipper.

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Photo of rtaps
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours pitch black with a very small khaki head that doesn;t hang around long at all looks viscous leaving spotty lacing

it's hot, with the cacao nibs, coffee and some vanilla

wow that is damn good, up front is rich and thick chocolate that covers your pallet, that fades to the vanilla bean(a lot more vanilla than expected and i loved that) some coffee and still hot

full bodied low-medium carbonation viscous, creamy and smooth as can be

overall was really happy with this can't wait to see my other bottle age

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Photo of peensteen
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%

Thanks a bunch to Jeffo for the longtime want! 2014 bottle.

Jet black with just a ring of tan head and no lace. Smell is full of chocolate and bourbon, rich roast, vanilla and a bit of liquorice, this beer smells absolutely incredible. Taste follows the nose and is even more of a treat than suggested, chocolate and roast, bourbon and vanilla, sweet but not near cloying, just a bit of alcohol heat but the 18% goes largely unnoticed. Lightly carbonated, full substantial body. Outstanding, I enjoyed this more than Black Tuesday by quite a bit and I really enjoyed BT, would welcome this again anytime.

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Photo of wellsnb
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The mouthfeel and taste come together almost like alcoholic chocolate milk. For the abv, it's not as hot as I expected. I think Mocha Wednesday may have this beat, but that may be my preference for coffee. Great beer.

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Photo of yamar68
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Massive thanks to Morgan in socal for sharing this one with myself, mnphish, amyhran, icecoldphatty and others - 2012 vintage:

As you'd expect, it pours pretty much identically to the base beer... edges if copper clarity, a thin khaki head and loads of oily alcohol aftermath that coats the cup.

Surprisingly mellow bourbon quality - takes a back seat to a variety of figs and dates, milk chocolate, vanilla oak, fresh coffee beans, some sweet dessert notes... caramel or toffee. More chocolate goodness.

Wonderful. Sweet assertive bourbon layered with caramel, fudge cake, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate liqueur, just as big and bad as BT with chocolate addition that somehow draws everything together instead of pushing the diabetic envelope.

Incredible stuff. I remain in search of...

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Nick for this, very generous of you

Short review because I am more concerned with drinking than reviewing.

Black pour with little head but fine for the ABV. Aroma is a tad boozy with lots of chocolate and vanilla. Taste is amazing. Waayyy more vanilla than expected. Smooth as hell considering the ABV. I wish I could be more descriptive but honestly it is hard to put into words. The body is medium/full and carbonation is a bit too high. Some alcohol burn in the finish. Overall this is definitely a top shelf imperial stout.

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Photo of Wayne17
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

At first I just smell and taste chocolate covered raisins, which is awesome. But as this warms it gets so much more complex. The wood and the whiskey really come out as it warms. A very sweet stout indeed but I don't mind it one bit. Only thing that doesn't scream out to me is the vanilla bean. Would more vanilla make this beer better? Probably. Is this still one of the best BBA stouts I've ever had? Yes. I'll drink this any chance I can get.

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Photo of smb
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. 6oz pour in a Bruery snifter at The Bruery.

L: Pours with a light swirly mocha head. Oily blackness.

S: Intense aroma of milk and dark chocolate, dark fruit, figs, vanilla, oak, freshly baked cookies and smores. An exciting beer to whiff over and over.

T: Wow. Vanilla, brownies, chocolate and cookie dough hit at the front of the tongue, with oak and an almost white chocolate character at the back. There's some slight bitter stout roastiness and bourbon flavor in the mix, but it's barely detectable and it works well to balance out and dial down the sweetness.

F: 18.4% ABV... I don't understand how Bruery does it. Vanilla, brownie fudge and oak coat the tongue, and while you can feel a good amount of heat as it goes down... it's by no means harsh and finishes really clean for how big of a beer it is.

Overall: A well-rounded, stunningly delicious and decadent world-class barrel aged imperial stout.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling, 750ml bottle split into snifters with my brothers - much thanks to Sean for this one -

A: Can't figure out how this is possible but it isn't even close to opaque...dark brown pour with ruby highlights...nearly no head but epic alcohol legs. Still looks good.

S: Huge boozy dark fruits here, lots of rum-soaked raisin character...smoothed-out caramel and lots of vanilla...big bourbon tones...lots of chocolate character too after you get used to the vanilla and boozy dark fruits.

T: Milk chocolate like a boss...chocolate and vanilla liqueur...dark caramel and burnt residual sugars...bourbon sweetness...booziness is apparent but totally manageable, the warmth is actually pretty nice and cuts some of the sweetness...

MF: Very low carbonation, moderate warmth from the booze, viscous and full-bodied...this is the epitome of a sipping beer.

O: Pretty awesome, as you get used to all of the boozy characters (dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon) the chocolate is pretty epic in this thing. Totally recommended if you can snag one.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On-tap for the Third Anniversary Party at the Phoenix Club. 5/29/11.

A: Pours an oily, deep black with a faint dark tan head which leaves a couple of spots.

N: Dark cocoa powder, milk chocolate, roast, vanilla, dark fruits, boozy, molasses, warm caramel and maple.

T: Complex. Dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, brown sugar, aged wood, charred leather. Amazing.

M: Full body and light carbonation. Rich, oily, creamy, sweet, syrupy, bourbon soaked chocolate cake.

O: Stunning and in awe.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a great trade with Mike! 2013 vintage. Pitch black pour with a quickly fading one finger caramel-colored head with minimal lacing. The nose is huge chocolate fudge and booze, along with hints of vanilla, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and did I mention booze. The taste is bold and super rich with once again, lots of booze. Hints of vanilla, oak, dark fruit, maple, molasses, espresso, caramel, leather, tobacco, and milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with low carbonation and a great warming finish. It approaches cloying, and it's definitely a sipper, but still incredibly drinkable for such a big beer. Overall, yes, it's hot and boozey, but it's so good! Much more upside than down. Highly recommended!

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Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
98 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.
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